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Times when you broke your own rules?


Steppenfool
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I have desired to own a Vespasian IVDAEA piece for a long time. I try to collect coins that are historically important, or communicate interesting messages. There's scarcely a more historically significant event represented on coinage than the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple during the Flavian dynasty's Jewish War 

This event was important for Rome itself, the looted treasures funded Flavian prosperity and were responsible for the funding of the Colosseum. A monument to this event in Titus' arch still stands.

It doesn't need describing how huge this event was for the Jewish people and their religion/theology. The event is mourned as tragedy to this day, as it is believed that God dwelt within the Holy of Holies and that this sacred space was violated. In addition, there was a horrific loss of human life and suffering. Many sects view the rebuilding of the temple as work that will be completed in the future by the Messiah.

The event was important for the budding Christian community, who utilised it in two key ways. Firstly, they interpreted it as a sign that their religion was correct and that the event was a punishment on the Jewish people for turning away from the true Messiah/Son of Man and his teachings. Secondly, they claimed that their Messiah Jesus Christ had predicted the destruction of the temple which showed his knowledge of divine providence. 

So, with my motivation for owning this coin out of the way. I was faced with the difficulty of acquiring one. Before setting my sites on higher value targets, my price limit on coin purchases was always £100. Clearly some flexibility would be needed to buy a coin like this, which marked the first rule break. My first stop was vcoins and mashops. I saw prices higher than I had imagined, even for the crustiest and most worn examples. Clearly retail was out of the question. Next, I tried a few auctions and often (I speculate) met someone as much enthusiasm as me for an affordable IVDAEA piece, but with slightly more cash to spare. 

I broke another one of my coin buying rules and headed to eBay. I regularly use eBay for cheaper purchases, but this was going to be my most expensive purchase to date on any platform. After some browsing I found a seller who stocked a worn IVDAEA for £155 which is the cheapest I've seen. I perused his other coins and they appeared authentic and sensibly priced. I even found a forum post from someone who had bought a Galba denarius from this seller and was very happy with the coin. After double checking forgerynetwork and FORVM, I was happy to buy, and offered slightly under the asking price. This offer was accepted and quickly shipped and I am now the proud owner of a worn Vespasian IVDAEA coin! After my purchase the seller sent me a lot of links r.e fake identification and warned me about purchasing on eBay. The sellers username is "" and his stock is certainly worth a look, but I imagine most UK users will have come across it before. Overall it was a great experience and actually better than standard retail in a lot of ways. 

Sellers pic below. The seller was very honest with his photography and it looks a lot better in hand!

Post coins and stories of when you violated your own Numismatic rules/principles!

 

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Edited by Steppenfool
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For a historical coin, I would have waited for a better one to come along. I think it's a bit rough, the obverse is especially glaring. Affordable ones surface on Vcoins at times, especially from Aegean Numismatics.

If you're happy, that's all that matters.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Kali said:

For a historical coin, I would have waited for a better one to come along. I think it's a bit rough, the obverse is especially glaring. Affordable ones surface on Vcoins at times, especially from Aegean Numismatics.

If you're happy, that's all that matters.

I have actually tried to buy a IVDAEA from Aegean on two separate occasions only to be reminded they don't ship to the UK. The obverse wasn't much of a concern for me as it is the reverse I am purchasing it for.

Better examples are available certainly, but its my experience that the price seems to rise very quickly for improvements in condition. If you can find a comparable one for around 175 USD then let me know, I may have to sell my kidney and get that one too. 

Edited by Steppenfool
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Posted · Supporter

Nice coin! The reverse in particular is sharper than most lower-end examples I've seen, and you've also got a decent portrait of Vespasian. Congrats!

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While I do most of my budget purchases from eBay, I still stick to known sellers. But one time I was looking for a Hadrian denarius and came across this worn coin listed from a Eastern European dealer listed as Hadrian, but it's actually the infamous Aelius. It was only listed for 20 bucks so I bought it anyway, the only drawback was the 3 month shipping period!

normal_Aelius.jpg.5531a0a15b889020a60267dec987fbaf.jpg

Obv: L AELIVS CAESAR
Rev: TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in left, cornucopia in right.

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1 minute ago, JayAg47 said:

While I do most of my budget purchases from eBay, I still stick to known sellers. But one time I was looking for a Hadrian denarius and came across this worn coin listed from a Eastern European dealer listed as Hadrian, but it's actually the infamous Aelius. It was only listed for 20 bucks so I bought it anyway, the only drawback was the 3 month shipping period!

Obv: L AELIVS CAESAR
Rev: TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in left, cornucopia in right.

The portrait outline is unmistakable, great catch. I still would've been nervous about the long distance the coin had to travel. I've only been brave enough for domestic orders on eBay so far.

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Congrats on your coin & a nice writeup, @Steppenfool.  Although Vespasian certainly minted lots of coins to celebrate his great victory, not an easy coin to find for a bearable price. Although it is not as direct in reference - this coin also recalls victory in Judea or at least remind us that Vespasian and sons are generally victorious.

image.png.c716f85ba93cb22b943e2a127a856b15.png

minted in Rome: AD 72/3 RIC 362

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Congrats on the acquisition, this is all that matters. Coins with similar theme to yours are (of course) popular and it is unlikely to manage to steal one from an auction and nobody spots it. Even very bad examples.

In regards to breaking numismatic rules - principles - good topic.

My area of interest is quite big so I don't fully specialize on anything in particular. Financially speaking, this is OK because I don't hunt coins from rare rulers for example (especially if I am not deeply interested). Or specific coins from specific rulers, like a specialized collector does. Therefore I don't even have a Galba in my collection because an "unofficial rule" I have is not spending more than 100 EUR + fees on a coin. A Galba < 100 EUR would be a) a very bad coin (I find nothing wrong with worn coins, but everything has a limit)  or b) I am in an auction where nobody else is paying attention, but this is very unlikely.

In regards to me 100 EUR rule, here is the only instance where I broke this rule. Successfully. There were other coins where I wanted to pay 200+ EUR, but lost. Again, everything has a limit. For me, the value of the coin I was happy to get it for was exactly my maximum bid. Anything more is overpaying for me.

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A Julia Titi, not the best out there. I was hoping to steal it for under 100 EUR. It didn't happen. Since I had no other major targets in the auction, I entered the mini-bidding war. Won it for 120 EUR + taxes. I am not the biggest fan of this coin, but I don't dislike it. As a personal preference, perhaps it would have been better to buy 3 common denarii with this sum.

 

Here is an instance where I broke my rule but did not win the coin.

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This was my major target in that auction. Adding a Column coin was on top of my numismatic goals list. (I am still interested in adding a bronze coin). This looked like a perfect candidate - even if the condition is not great, being a popular type I was willing to pay 100 EUR, maybe slightly more. But my 150 EUR bid was not enough. I simply got annoyed and let it pass as the Column types are not rare and I only wanted a random one.

A few lots later, when I was preparing to close the browser as there was nothing interesting for me, I saw this coin.

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It is inferior, by all means, but for some reason I missed it when checking the auction (I always check properly all the lots before an auction and I write down everything that's interesting for me). I probably overlooked it because of the reverse spots (that are very different in hand and not as distracting as they seem).

So I decided to have a go and I clicked on bid exactly when the coin was about to be sold. Won it for 26 EUR.

Again - the coin I lost is superior, no arguments here. But frankly, I prefer the coin I won for 26 EUR rather than getting the other one (my bid would have been 170 EUR minimum to get it and this wouldn't have guaranteed winning it).

Edited by ambr0zie
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I break my own rules rather too frequently for my liking.

Kos Ar Tetradrachm 280-250 BC Obv Beardless head of Herakles right wearing lions skin headdress.  Rv.  Crab seen from above. Below bow in bow case all within rectangular dotted border. Requier Group III 40 HGC 1308 15.16 grms 28 mm Photo by W. Hansenkos3.jpg.5fcb42a424c1167db6f9b010753034c3.jpgBack in 2020 I vowed that would not purchase any coin that did not have a pedigree prior to 2020. Since then I have broken this rule at least 3 times. On of the coins was this one. Back in 2005 I saw a group of these coins being auctioned by a firm in Europe.  I wanted to bid on one of these coins but was unable to do so.  Since then I wanted one.  This coin was on the CNG Coin Shop and I tried ignoring it. However after getting beaten like a drum in Triton XXIV I elected to buy this coin. What is interesting about this particular series from the mint of Kos is that while the obverse looks very similar to the Attic tetradrachms in the name of Alexander III this coin is minted on the older and lighter Chian standard. While it is true that some of the other mints such as Ephesos also continued with the Chian standard, this coin with its virtually identical obverse and its overall fabric seems to be trying to look like the contemporary Alexander coinage.

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I break my rules every month. Usually in a minor way, so I can justify it to myself 🙉

I bought this coin despite having a rule that I won't buy any more unattributed coins while trying to collect the attributed rulers.

South Ferriby ‘Stork Head’ Rich Type 28a Unit, 55-45BC

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Corieltavi Tribe, Britain. Silver, 13-15mm, 1.18g. Horse right, stork head, pellet rosette above, pellet below tail. Plain (ABC 1806; VA 884-1; S−).

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Do you also watch the live bidding of online auctions. One of my rules is to bid only on pre-selected coins that fit into my collection, but sometimes a nice coin turns up at a nice price, and I say bye-bye rule. 

Unfortunately it happens again and again and again.

I got this for example:

 

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Republic
Anonymous Denar, 86 BC. Rome
Obv: Laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below
Rev: Jupiter, holding thunderbolt in right hand and reins in left, driving galloping quadriga right.
AR, 18mm, 3.66 g
Ref.: Crawford 350A/2; Sydenham 723; RSC 226; RBW 1333.

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Posted · Administrator

Great topic! I have actually broken one of my rules I first set out when I started this hobby. Basically, I said I would never want to own a coin from a terrible emperor. Whenever I'd listen to The History of Rome podcast I'd always get angry when we'd reach, say, Caracalla, for the stupid stuff he did that weakend the empire. So, naturally, why would I ever want to own a coin of his!? I'd just get perturbed every time I looked at it.

But, as I got further along in my love for ancient coins I began to detach the emperor from the coin itself. Caracalla especially has some incredible coins, and I realized I'd have to let go of my dislike for the man, in order to acquire some truly phenomenal coins. Now, I've got quite a few Caracalla's on my watchlist for upcoming auctions. Funny how things can change and rules get broken. Here's my first Caracalla:

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Caracalla. AD 198-217. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.75 g, 5h). Laodicea ad Mare mint. Struck AD 200-201. ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / SECVRI T ORBIS, Securitas seated left, holding scepter and resting head on hand. RIC IV 351b; BMCRE 703; RSC 573a.

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15 hours ago, CPK said:

Rules? Now there is an idea. 🤔

Rules? I have one rule: there are no rules.

 

PS: I have stopped making rules for myself (in the hobby). I was disillusioned to realise that I can't keep them anyway. There are simply too many beautiful historical coins in this world. 

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The only rule that I've tried to set for myself is to not bid on coins in a live auction impromptu, just because I think it's a good deal or I get excited in the moment as I'm waiting for my watched lot to come up. I try to only bid if I've taken a close look at the large coin photo, read the description, and researched the price. Seems obvious, right?

The typical result: subtle details I don't like that weren't evident in the small photos; my collecting focus was stretched through the addition of an 'extraneous' coin, or my budget that could have been spent on coins on my actual watch list was depleted.

Boredom and impulsiveness are dangerous things 😄

Edited by Jeremy
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Posted · Administrator
38 minutes ago, Jeremy said:

The only rule that I've tried to set for myself is to not bid on coins in a live auction impromptu, just because I think it's a good deal or I get excited in the moment as I'm waiting for my watched lot to come up. I try to only bid if I've taken a close look at the large coin photo, read the description, and researched the price. Seems obvious, right?

The typical result: subtle details I don't like that weren't evident in the small photos; my collecting focus was stretched through the addition of an 'extraneous' coin, or my budget that could have been spent on coins on my actual watch list was depleted.

Boredom and impulsiveness are dangerous things 😄

This is the worst!! Haha. I find this happening in situations too where, a coin or two I really want in an auction is near the very end, so I pass over on other coins I would have happily bought in the beginning of the auction if I knew I wouldn't win the ones I really wanted at the end. But by then it's too late! So now you're down to the last few coins on your watch list, you maybe pay a little bit more than you otherwise would because you're feeling that FOMO, and then you find yourself buying another totally random coin so you're not paying for shipping for just 1 coin! 🤣😅

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Prices on these are way too high considering how common the type is.  It is a lot like the Tiberius Tribute Penny with demand from non-collectors. Mine was sold by Frank Robinson in 1991 and again (to me) in 2013 for $19 less than the 1991 realization.  Demand for low end, worn coins has not gone up at the rate of the high grade stuff.  I broke a rule buying a common but pricy type paying double what the more scarce but not 'Biblical' reverses bring.

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I have a general rule to not upgrade my coins, since I'm still putting my full focus into collecting as many more stories as I can. However, I was always a bit bummed about the "imagination" necessary to see the three shields of my Eupolemos.

eupolemos_i.jpg.470222571e3d7c55d9b921fff78e56ad.jpg

So, when a much finer copy became available, I couldn't resist. In order to purchase it, I invented a slight "loophole". Though they're both of the same design, they're different denominations... 🙂

Eupolemos.jpg.b8240e9be300a5d802961aa8095420fd.jpg

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23 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Rules? I have one rule: there are no rules.

 

PS: I have stopped making rules for myself (in the hobby). I was disillusioned to realise that I can't keep them anyway. There are simply too many beautiful historical coins in this world. 

This is very true. If it wasn't for the need to keep to a budget, I wouldn't have rules. The problem is you never know what's going to come up. Some auctions appear with just a couple of weeks' notice, which makes budgeting difficult if your income is monthly. And if a dealer lists a coin I really need but I already spent my money on an impulse purchase, I don't know if I could sit on my hands waiting for my bank account to replenish wondering if someone else would buy it...

11 hours ago, kirispupis said:

I invented a slight "loophole"

But this is how I end up anyway 😂 Conversation in my head:

"That's a nice coin."

"You don't need that. You already have a coin of Hadrian."

"Yes but that's a filler coin."

"A filler for a different coin to the one you're now looking at."

"What if a better one doesn't come up? I won't have a nice Hadrian. I've got to have a nice Hadrian."

"What if it does? You'll have three Hadrians when you only need one."

"Yes but I also collect hoard coins. And this is from a hoard."

"Good point. Let's buy it. There's a nice Vespasian, too..."

Hadrian Denarius, 126-127image.png.94f28ddbb483bcf521f3f814acb6383f.png

Rome. Silver, 17x18mm, 3.40g. Head of Hadrian, laureate, right, slight drapery on left shoulder; HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS. Virtus standing right, resting foot on helmet, holding spear and parazonium; COS III (RIC III, 851). From the Ropsley (Lincolnshire) Hoard 2018.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2022 at 10:15 PM, dougsmit said:

Prices on these are way too high considering how common the type is.  It is a lot like the Tiberius Tribute Penny with demand from non-collectors. Mine was sold by Frank Robinson in 1991 and again (to me) in 2013 for $19 less than the 1991 realization.  Demand for low end, worn coins has not gone up at the rate of the high grade stuff.  I broke a rule buying a common but pricy type paying double what the more scarce but not 'Biblical' reverses bring.

 

That's a great example. I think the demand and price increase is warranted for the reasons I have given above. I think the Tiberius Tribute Penny is a different phenomena as it's mere speculation that the Biblical event actually happened, that it was that particular coin, or even that it was a denarius. At least the IVDAEA coin is operating under no false pretences!

Edited by Steppenfool
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